Troop 868 in Action

Knobstone Trail Campout & Hike (Feb. 2001)

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The longest foot trail in the state of Indiana is the 58 mile Knobstone Trail located near Salem, Indiana.  Operated by the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, the trail is exceptionally well marked and maintained.  It features seven trailheads where hikers can begin or end a trek.  This makes it easy for scout groups to plan anything from a "short" 5 mile hike up to longer day hikes or even multi-day backpacking excursions.  Being less than 2 hours away, Troop 868 has hiked different sections of the Knobstone on several occasions.  On this particular trip, we elected to stay at Delaney Park near the northern most trailhead and rent two cabins.  As Saturday night temperatures dropped to 15 degrees, this turned out to be a wise decision!

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Saturday morning began early with a quick breakfast, flag raising, then onto the trail at the Delaney Park trailhead.  Though the weather was clear and sunny on Saturday, a heavy rain had fallen the day before and the troop had to cross several normally small creeks that were swollen by run-off water to be both wider and deeper than usual.   Crafting bridges from rocks and logs proved to be a real team building exercise --- as did crossing some of them once they were built!  It was a fun challenge but consumed a great deal of time as well as slowing the group's progress. 
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wpe6.gif (176206 bytes) Several days of rain during the prior week led to swollen creeks and some challenging crossings.   At left, hikers pose at the bottom of a hill for a photo.
wpe8.gif (116772 bytes) Once beyond a half dozen creeks, the trail progressed to higher ground in a series of steep inclines and equally steep declines as it wound north then eastward through the forest.  In the photo at left, Mr. Runner talks Phillip up a hillside.  wpe7.gif (117802 bytes) Mr. Giardina stops to tell Mr. Meek, "Bob, we need to discuss your definition of an easy hike!" 

As a result of the time lost in creek crossings and more hilly terrain than expected over the first 7 miles of the trail, the troop was unable to achieve their initial objective of 23 miles; opting instead to exit the trail late afternoon after 11 miles.

On Sunday, the troop "slept in" until nearly 9:00am, had breakfast and held a worship service, then spent the remainder of the day working on various advancement requirements, especially some map and compass work.

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One of the last duties performed prior to leaving camp was lowering the colors. Tyler and Jacob served Color Guard duty as Paul stood in for the SPL.
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Prior to boarding the Troop bus for the journey home, the group posed for yet another photo.  Pictured from left to right are Mr. Meek, Aaron, Mr. Giardina, Mr. Freeman, Tyler, Shane, Jonathan, Jeremy, Philip, Jacob, Florencio, Dave, Alex, and Paul.   (Photo by Mr. Runner.)